‘What the heck is going on with the crazy striping on this San Jose street?’ Roadshow

Q: I would appreciate if you could talk more about the changes along Hillsdale between Highway 87 and Camden.

Cong Nguyen, San Jose

A: You’re not the only one who wants more information about the controversial changes along Hillsdale.

Q: There are lots of new driving/biking/parking markings on Hillsdale Avenue between Almaden Expressway and Camden. What is confusing is the swapping places of the biking and parking lanes.

For most of this stretch, parking is at the curb and biking is to the left with a striped buffer between bikers and traffic. But here and there, the bike lane is next to the curb and parking is between the bikers and traffic lanes. If anyone actually parks there, especially at night, they will appear to be parking in the middle of the road and risk being rear-ended by cars traveling at 40+ mph!!!

I know there are areas like this in downtown San Jose, but the speed limit is much lower, and there is one traffic lane. I think it would be much safer for the markings to be consistent for the entire new stretch of road and all parking should be next to the curb.

Dana Tucker, San Jose

A: And…

Q: What the heck is going on with the crazy striping on Pearl Avenue and Hillsdale Avenue?  Obviously, they have added bike lanes — which nobody uses — and regular car lanes have been eliminated. Pearl has been reduced to one lane in each direction, and there is room for a second lane but is “painted out.”

Also, what’s with the right turns from Hillsdale to the side streets and the ability to move into the bike lanes for a right turn at 200 feet from the corner? It looks like we now have to wait until the last few feet to move over. Who decides how to stripe the roads, anyway?

Dennis Brown

A: A large stretch of Hillsdale Avenue, from Ross Avenue to Almaden Expressway, has gotten upgrades for safety and to slow down traffic. Once striping is complete, plastic bollards and signage will be installed.

The street went from six travel lanes to four. Left turns and U-turns are now restricted to a few key intersections.

Hillsdale Avenue is one of San Jose’s 17 Vision Zero priority corridors. These streets represent about 3 percent of the city’s roadway network, but they are the locations of most of the severe and fatal traffic injury collisions. In 2021, there were, sadly, two fatalities on this stretch of Hillsdale Avenue. The improvements being made to Hillsdale aim to prevent future severe and fatal collisions. Performance of the safety upgrades will be monitored and future changes made, as needed.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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Author: Gary Richards

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